Mineralocorticoid excess, dietary sodium, and myocardial fibrosis

J Lab Clin Med. 1992 Dec;120(6):893-901.


Unlike the non-renin-dependent hypertension associated with infrarenal aorta banding, an abnormal accumulation of fibrillar collagen occurs within the adventitia of intramural coronary arteries and neighboring interstitial space of the left and right ventricles in arterial hypertension associated with primary or secondary hyperaldosteronism. Based on these findings it was suggested that this interstitial and perivascular fibrosis was mediated by mineralocorticoid excess (i.e., elevated plasma aldosterone relative to dietary sodium) and not ventricular loading. To further address the importance of mineralocorticoid excess, we examined the fibrous tissue response after 8 weeks in the following uninephrectomized rat groups receiving a high-sodium diet: D-aldosterone (ALDO) infusion (0.75 micrograms/hr sc, n = 16); deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA) administration (100 mg/kg/wk sc, n = 8); and administration of a mineralocorticoid-like substance, glycyrrhizic acid (GA; 1 gm kg/wk sc, n = 8). Compared with ALDO infusion and sodium deprivation (n = 9), untreated controls (n = 14), and uninephrectomized rats with high dietary sodium and no mineralocorticoid administration (n = 15), we found (1) hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy with all forms of mineralocorticoid excess; (2) a rise in collagen volume fraction with ALDO, and an increase in perivascular collagen with DOCA; and (3) no observance of myocardial fibrosis with GA or experimental controls, including ALDO infusion and sodium deprivation. Thus, in the presence of enhanced sodium intake, chronic administration of ALDO or DOCA are associated with collagen accumulation in the myocardium, whereas with the mineralocorticoid-like compound GA, myocardial fibrosis was not seen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Aldosterone / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Desoxycorticosterone / toxicity
  • Endomyocardial Fibrosis / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Potassium / urine
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Sodium / urine
  • Sodium, Dietary / pharmacology*


  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Desoxycorticosterone
  • Aldosterone
  • Collagen
  • Sodium
  • Potassium